Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) feels exulted as one of its alumna and IIT Kanpur faculty member, Dr Bushra Ateeq has been awarded the country’s highest science award, Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize for 2020 for contribution to the field of Medical Sciences. She completed her PhD in Zoology from AMU (1998 – 2003) under the supervision of Prof Wasim Ahmad Faridi.
As an Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemical Sciences and Bioengineering, IIT, Kanpur; Dr Bushra has been working on cancer biomarkers and molecular events that lead to progression in prostate and breast cancer. Dr Bushra was chosen for the CNR Rao Faculty Award 2018 for her work in establishing the role of specific microRNAs in regulating the levels of SPINK1, a protein found in elevated levels in prostate cancer patients.
“AMU community stands proud of Dr Bushra for her conspicuously important and outstanding contribution to human knowledge and progress in her specialisation area,” said AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor.
He added that Dr Bushra’s award has become more significant as she got it when the University is celebrating its centenary.
“Through her valuable work, Dr Bushra has emphasised that a person’s susceptibility to cancer varies with ethnicity and age,” said Prof Mohammad Afzal, Chairman, Department of Zoology.
Her research points out that Asians are thought to be less susceptible as compared to Caucasians or Africans, in whom certain cancer-linked genetic mutations and alterations are more common. She took her work forward at a time when there was very little known about mutations and alterations carried by people within the Indian subcontinent.
Dr Bushra is among 12 scientists to be honoured. The award was announced on September 26, the foundation day of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The prize is given to Indian scientists below the age of 45 for outstanding research in seven fields-Biology, Chemistry, Environment Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine and Physics.
Preceding her PhD, Dr Bushra was the topper of MSc Zoology (1997) in AMU. She also did her bachelors from the University. She attended the University of Michigan, USA as a postdoctoral fellow to research on Prostate Cancer, Genomics and as a postdoctoral trainee at McGill University, Montreal, Canada to work on Cancer Biology, Epigenetics.